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Impact Radius’ new tool lets brands find more possible partners for affiliate links

By on January 20, 2017

Originally posted by Barry Levine on MarTech Today.

Impact Radius is out today with a new tool that it says is the first to let brands find affiliate partners outside given networks.

The Santa Barbara, California-based company provides a platform for tracking advertising and affiliate performance. Affiliates are those publishers — ranging from online magazines to individuals’ blogs — that include links to the brand’s product in their editorial content or elsewhere.

When a reader clicks on the link — say, a link to a mentioned Canon camera in a story about the latest photographic innovations — and buys that product, the publisher gets a fee.

The problem, Impact Radius co-founder and VP of Strategic Initiatives Todd Crawford told me, has been that brands have either limited or passive ways to find new affiliate publishers.

In the limited way, they can search in affiliate networks or tracking platforms for affiliate publishers that carry links to other products of their type. Canon, for instance, might find camera blogs that link to Nikon cameras but not theirs, and then they could approach those blogs to carry Canon affiliate links.

But those tools only cover the affiliates in a specific network. For instance, Crawford said, Impact Radius offers such a discovery tool that reaches about 25,000 affiliate publishers in its network. That’s only a fraction of the affiliate publishers on the web.

In the passive approach, brands post on their website or other online locations that they have an affiliate program, and invite publishers and other media partners to join the program.

This past August, Impact Radius bought affiliate recruitment platform 5IQ, which offered an affiliate discovery tool.

Now integrated with the Impact Radius platform for its customers and rebranded as Media Partner Discovery, the tool allows brands to find all the affiliates in a given category — even those outside Impact Radius’ or others’ networks. Here’s a screen shot:

This amounts to a universe of more than 800,000 publishers and media partners that carry affiliate links, of which about 40 percent are in the US. This is the first implementation of 5IQ technology into Impact Radius’ platform.

Brands like Canon can now search a much wider population of affiliate publishers/media partners in a given category, including those working with competitors. The tool ranks the potential partners by their Alexa traffic, offers contact and company info and provides the ability to generate lists of potential partners.